UK wants “urgent action” on tire-wear particles

London – The UK government has launched a push to tackle the impact of particulate and ‘plastic’ pollution from brakes, tires and road wear, with the 11 July publication of a report on the issue.

The study, by the ‘air quality expert group’ (AQEG) calls for “urgent action” to address the problem of pollution for tires and brakes.

In its report, the AQEG cited predictions that particles from these sources will account for 10% of UK emissions of PM 2.5 – of diameter less than 2.5 micrometres – by 2030.

Under its ‘clean air strategy, Westminster is now calling for industry to develop standardised methods for measuring these emissions, towards established a new international standard for tire and brake wear.

The government also published a summary of responses to its call for evidence on these emission sources, which indicate that the problem is still poorly understood.

“The documents published today make clear that the tiny particles that are released from their brakes and tires have a detrimental impact on human health,” said UK environment minister Thérèse Coffey.

Stating that the new research “goes a long way in helping us better understand the problem,” Coffee said the automotive industry now has to find innovative ways to address the challenges of air pollution from these sources.

The UK is engaging at an international level to identify how to measure these emissions as well as aiming to develop standards to control them, added Michael Ellis , the UK’s transport minister.

“These particles enter the airstream having a detrimental impact on human health for drivers, passengers and bystanders,” he stated.

“Plastic particles from tires are also deposited into our sewers and lead to harmful consequences to our marine wildlife and aquatic food chains,” the minister added.

For the automotive industry, Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, commented: “Brake, tire and road wear is a recognised challenge as emissions from these sources are not easy to measure.”